Saturday, 20 October 2012

Red Cross beneficiary or community communication.

Ever since I first worked for Red Cross internationally in 1971, I always felt we were there to serve people and listen to people, and shape programme to their needs. Thirty five years down the track we now call it beneficiary communication (BC) and it is so exciting that it is now an integral part of all our work.

I have a great Red Cross communication team here in Colombo; Navindra, Mahieash and Zafran. With Tissa, Keti and I supporting  them, they have some up with an innovative radio programme for people in the north, many without electricity, so they rely on the old battery operated radios. One of our supporters is Will Rogers, our BC man in KL who I worked with in setting up BC programmes in Indonesia during Tsunami and West Sumatra earthquake. Taru supported us from the regional office in Delhi.  Here is more information about what we are doing. I will be in Jaffna on 24 October for the launch.

Consulting with communities in Vivekanadanagar in Kilinochchi. Discussing with people about the best type of livelihoods we can support them with. Photo: Bob McKerrow

The beneficiary communication programme in Sri Lanka is taking off with the launch a new radio programme targeting communities living in the north of Sri Lanka. As part of the Red Cross post-conflict recovery programme, the show aims to inform, discuss and understand the needs of vulnerable communities in this area. Information and feedback gathered from the discussions will not only give people a voice, but also be used to help us provide relevant services and make change by advocating on the communities behalf to the relevant authorities.  It will also disseminate the values of the Red Cross throughout the region.   

The radio show titled "Manidaneyathikkana Manithyalam" which translates to "Hour for Humanity" will be broadcasted in Tamil on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation's (SLBC) Yarl FM on 92.2 and 102 FM, every Wednesday starting 24 October 2012 from 06.30pm – 07.40pm (GMT+5.5). You may not be able to tune in to the programme, but Sri Lanka Red Cross will be uploading audio and video recordings of the show on the SLRCS website ( soon after the programme is aired. 

Please take some time to listen in to the programme. Feedback and suggestions are much welcome to help take the programme to the next level. Please send your inputs to Mahieash Johnney, senior manager communications and humanitarian diplomacy, IFRC Sri Lanka at:


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